Gibraltar Interviews

The situation in relation to police interviews in Gibraltar is somewhat unique. There are, of course, no local British solicitors and there is no RAF legal presence to give advice. Therefore it is perfectly legitimate to ask for a civilian defence lawyer from the UK to be brought in. The Legal Aid authority, AFCLAA, will cover all the expenses involved including the travel expenses.

Christopher Hill has carried out this role on many occasions in the past. There are certain Spanish lawyers in Gibraltar who have gained a basic qualification in dealing with military police interviews. However, these lawyers cannot claim their costs under the AFCLAA scheme and therefore service personnel have to pay them privately. There is no need to do this as all service personnel are entitled to a civilian lawyer from the UK free of charge.

Court Martial

These cases are dealt in a formal setting before a Judge Advocate and a Board who are a group of officers and WOs acting in the role of a jury during a trial. They then join the Judge Advocate in deciding sentence in the event of a guilty verdict or plea. Court martials are very similar to a Crown Court in procedure and practice but with certain uniquely military elements. Service personnel can arrive at a court martial either because they are sent there because the case is considered too serious for the CO or Captain to deal with himself or because the accused exercises his right to elect court martial. Sometimes it is appropriate to do so in order to ensure a full trial of all the issues with the evidence being heard and witnesses called. Even in quite minor allegations this is sometimes the sensible course if the accused feels he needs the matter dealt with by an independent tribunal. It is arguable that in many cases, you have little to lose as the court martial cannot exceed the CO's powers of punishment in the event of a guilty finding.

Christopher Hill has dealt with hundreds of court martials and have achieved many successes in difficult circumstances. We are happy to provide you with free legal advice at any time.

In the event that you are facing a court martial, the first priority is to apply for legal aid from the Armed Forces Criminal Legal Aid Authority (AFCLAA). (See Legal Aid)

Agai Matters

As members of the Armed Forces you are not only subject to military discipline but also Administrative sanction. This comes in a variety of forms depending on the service, eg AGAI in the Army; JSP 833 in the RAF and FLAGO procedures in the Navy. It all comes to the same thing and allows the service to punish you in a variety of ways for non-criminal acts of which they disapprove. They are effectively acting as a civilian employer would when dealing with issues of gross misconduct. Although these matters do not lead to a court appearance or a criminal record, they can have very serious and far-reaching career implications. Unfortunately these administrative disposals do not allow you a proper hearing before an independent body and there is no legal aid available to assist with representation. However, if you choose to draft your own representation in response we can offer free advice to assist you. Alternatively, we are able to draft the representations for you for a fixed fee. We have a high success rate in dealing with people with AGAI problems.

Administrative sanctions are serious and can be a career stopper so contact Chris Hill for some free advice.